As you know, on Jan. 27 the U.S. Administration issued an executive order limiting nationals from seven countries from entering the country for 90 days. The decision is impacting students, faculty, and staff at universities throughout the U.S., including here in Georgia.
Because this situation is fast-paced and fluid, there are many unanswered questions and we anticipate receiving additional guidelines and clarifications in the coming days and weeks. As we collaborate with the University System of Georgia (USG) and the federal government, I want to assure each of you that we place great value on the many contributions our international students, faculty, and staff make to the Georgia Tech community and recognize the vital contributions they have made and will continue to make to our success as an institution. I also want to update you on actions taken to date and provide a guide to resources.
At Georgia Tech, we are receiving questions from faculty, staff, and students, including those who are concerned about how the executive order may impact them personally. We believe that no members of the Georgia Tech community from the select countries had travel plans impacted over the weekend. I want to assure you that we are coordinating the efforts between several departments on campus, with a specific goal of identifying any individuals who may be directly impacted and providing support to the international community with timely information and resources as appropriate, along with a commitment to the safety and well-being of our entire campus community.
Last night I forwarded a message from University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Steve Wrigley. The System Office is coordinating closely with international education offices at each of the USG institutions. Following that message, Yves Berthelot, vice provost for International Initiatives, sent a message to all F and J visa students and scholars at Georgia Tech providing information on resources available to them. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep our Georgia Tech community informed as information is available. We are committed to assisting anyone who thinks they may be impacted by policies and guidelines through the Office of International Education and encourage them to contact that office with any questions they might have.
Over the past 20 years, Georgia Tech has grown into one of the most global research universities in the nation. The overall student body attracts students from 127 countries, and 54 percent of our B.S. degree recipients have an international experience prior to graduation. I am particularly proud of the Georgia Tech community for its broad global perspective, its welcoming environment and its ability to come together to address challenges in a positive manner. I know that I speak on behalf of the entire Georgia Tech community when I say we are enormously proud of our international students and the international scholars who have contributed to Georgia Tech’s reputation, and are a key component of our 25-year Strategic Plan with its global focus. Georgia Tech is a stronger, better place because of the contributions of our international community. You are welcome here, and you are valued.
- G.P. "Bud" Peterson